Reverse-transcriptional gene expression of anammox and ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria in soybean and rice paddy soils of Northeast China

Jing Wang, Hailiang Dong, Weidong Wang, Ji Dong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The relative gene expression of hydrazine oxidoreductase encoding gene (hzo) for anaerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (anammox) and ammonia monooxygenase encoding gene (amoA) for both ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in Sanjiang Plain soybean and rice paddy soils of Northeast China was investigated by using real-time reverse-transcriptional quantitative PCR. Metabolically active populations of anammox, AOA, and AOB in rice paddy soils were evident by the presence and successful quantification of hzo mRNA and amoA mRNA genes. The expression ratio of amoA gene for both AOA and AOB varied between soybean soils and different rice paddy soils while the expression of hzo gene for anammox was detectable only in rice paddy soils by showing a diverse relative expression ratio in each soil sample. Gene expression of both archaeal and bacterial amoA genes in rice paddy soils differed among the three sampling depths, but that of hzo was not. Both archaeal and bacterial amoA genes showed an increase trend of expression level with continuation of rice paddy cultivation, but the low expression ratio of hzo gene indicated a relatively small contribution of anammox in overall removal of inorganic nitrogen through N2 even under anoxic and high nitrogen input in agriculture. Bacterial amoA gene from two soybean fields and three rice paddy fields were also analyzed for community composition by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprint. Community shift was observed between soybean and paddy fields and within each of them. The consistent occurrence of three bands 5, 6, and 7 in all samples showed their high adaptability for both arid cultivation and continuous rice paddy cultivation. Our data suggest that AOA and AOB are playing a more important role in nitrogen transformation in agricultural soils in oxic or anoxic environment and anammox bacteria may also contribute but in a less extent to N transformation in these agricultural soils under anoxic condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2675-2686
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • AOA
  • AOB
  • Anammox
  • Baijiang soil
  • Crop rotation
  • Gene expression
  • Reverse transcription
  • Rice paddy
  • mRNA


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